Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

This flavorful and aromatic Instant Pot chicken tikka masala is a breeze to prepare, thanks to the pressure cooking magic. With tender chicken, creamy tomato curry, and a blend of aromatic spices, this classic Indian dish will quickly become a family favorite dinner. Serve with rice, naan bread and a side of raita yoghurt sauce. 

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And if you like this recipe, make sure to check out our Instant Pot butter chicken, palak pula (spinach rice) and Indian chicken curry rice. Find all the best Instant Pot Indian recipes here.

Chicken Tikka Masala In Instant Pot

Chicken Tikka Masala is a beloved Indian dish featuring marinated and grilled chicken bathed in a rich, tomato-based curry sauce. 

The word “tikka” refers to small pieces or chunks of marinated and typically grilled or roasted meat, often skewered. In the context of dishes like “Chicken Tikka,” it specifically means small pieces of chicken that have been marinated and cooked in a tandoor (clay oven) or on a grill.

“Masala” is a term used for a blend of spices or a spice mixture. Masalas are essential in creating vibrant and diverse flavors that are characteristic of Indian cuisine.

In this Instant Pot version, the chicken is marinated and pressure-cooked rather than grilled, yet you still get the essence of tikka masala.

Expect a harmonious combination of spicy, tangy, and creamy flavors, with tender chicken pieces complemented by the smooth, velvety texture of the sauce.


Here are the ingredients you will need to make Instant Pot chicken tikka masala.

  • Chicken Marinade: Chicken breasts, yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric.
  • Tomato Curry Sauce: Butter/ghee, oil, yellow onion, ginger, garlic, turmeric, garam masala, curry powder, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce (passata).
  • After Cooking: Dried fenugreek leaves (optional), heavy cream, butter/ghee, fresh cilantro.
  • Extra yogurt, rice, and naan bread for serving.
ingredients for chicken tikka masala

How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala In Instant Pot

You will find the full recipe with ingredients and nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below. Here are step-by-step photos and a video to guide you along.

Step 1. Combine chicken marinade ingredients in a bowl and coat the chicken thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2. Saute onions, then add ginger, garlic, and spices. Stir in water and add tomatoes.

Step 3. Add chicken and marinade to the tomato curry sauce, pressure cook for 5 minutes and allow for natural pressure release.

Step 4. Stir in fenugreek leaves (if using), simmer to thicken, and finish with cream and cilantro.

Instant pot chicken tikka masala

Watch How To Make It

Recipe Tips

  • Use Greek yogurt for a creamy and tangy marinade.
  • Adjust chili powder for your preferred spice level.
  • Don’t skip the fenugreek leaves for authentic masala flavor.
  • Increase cream for a creamier, milder taste.
  • Use coconut yoghurt and cream for a dairy-free version. It will give it a more tropical flavor but still be delicious.


  • Swap chicken for paneer or tofu for a vegetarian version.
  • Add veggies like bell peppers, cauliflower and peas for extra color and nutrition.
  • Make this with chickpeas and potatoes for another vegetarian version.
  • Shrimp tikka masala is another great idea!
Instant Pot chicken tikka masala recipe

What To Serve With Chicken Tikka Masala

Storage Tips

  • To store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze: Portion and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat: Gently warm on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water if needed.

More Instant Pot Indian Recipes

Full Recipe

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let us know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

Instant Pot chicken tikka masala feature

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Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Indulge in the flavors of India with our Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala. Creamy, aromatic, and bursting with spices, this homemade delight beats takeout any day. Try it tonight and savor the authentic taste of India right at your dinner table!
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Refrigerate30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 249kcal
Author: Ann Fabrizio


For Chicken Marinade

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into large cubes (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup yoghurt plain e.g. Greek
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder reduce for less spicy chicken
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

Tomato Curry Sauce

  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion large yellow finely diced (or 2 smaller ones)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced 3-4 cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp mild curry powder
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 1.5 cups tomato sauce e.g. pureed tomatoes, passata

After Cooking

  • 1-2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves kasoori methi (these are optional but authentic, use if you have them)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream can add more for extra creamy, more mellow flavor
  • 1 tsp butter or ghee
  • 1/3 cup cilantro fresh chopped
  • Extra yogurt to drizzle over the top or on the side

Serve with

  • rice
  • naan bread


  • Combine all the chicken tikka marinade ingredients together in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with diced chicken so that everything is fully coated in the yogurt mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 24 hours.
  • Turn the Instant Pot on Saute setting, Normal mode. Once hot, add the butter oil, onions and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
  • Then add the ginger and garlic, and saute for a minute to release their aromas. Follow by turmeric, garam masala and curry powder and stir through. Add 1/4 cup of water and stir through the mix, scraping the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the canned chopped tomatoes and tomato passata sauce and stir through. Remember to press Cancel to stop the Saute function.
  • Add the chicken with all the marinade to the tomato curry sauce and mix through. Close the lid and secure it. Set the Instant Pot to the Pressure Cook/ Manual setting and set the timer to 5 minutes.
  • Once cooking is done, allow the pressure to release naturally, should take 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir the curry. If using, stir in the fenugreek leaves at this stage.
  • Then, set the Instant Pot back on Saute setting, More mode (press the Saute button multiple times to cycle through modes). Let the sauce bubble away for 5-7 minutes, to reduce and thicken slightly.
  • Finally, stir in the cream and garnish with fresh cilantro.


Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 1675mg | Potassium: 780mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1071IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 2mg
CourseMain Course
KeywordTIkka Masala, Indian Food, Indian Cuisine, Chicken Tikka Masala
Made this recipe?Mention @instantpoteats or tag #instantpoteats!

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By Instant Pot Eats

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